When hubby and I told people we were (did) getting (get) married in NYC the first question always was/is “Why NY?” Followed by “Do you have family there?”
The answer to the first question is that the idea of NYC came out of a complete emotional breakdown on my part. And, you know how guys like to be problem solvers, right? Well, my husband (fiance at the time) was doing everything he could to make me feel better. “What was wrong?” you ask “Why were you having a breakdown?” (Have you ever planned a wedding?!? Just kidding…kinda.) I had had it, frankly. My mother and I had visited/called/considered over 50 locations nationwide (and some in The Bahamas) to find “the perfect wedding venue.”
The problem was that it was seemingly impossible to find a venue that met my criteria, which I didn’t think was too much to ask for (i.e. did not want expensive white-gloved reception, wanted outdoor ceremony, did not want beige room that required gobs of decor, etc.). As I have said before, I did not want to finance our future and have a lavish event meant to impress everyone. And it took me a full year to come full-circle to realize that I didn’t HAVE to do please or impress ANYONE! Newsflash, brides-to-be….it’s true. You don’t have to get married to make an impression. Remember: The whole “Wedding” thing is about a marriage…not a performance.
So, because I couldn’t find a venue that was reasonably priced and met other various criteria, I finally broke down. Mind you, it took nearly a full year for this to happen. During the course of this year of engagement, I had discovered the opinions of many people (amazing how much unsolicited advice and opinions you get when you plan a wedding) and I had realized that the wedding industry is filled with zombies who just want your emotional attachment to their product…and lots of your money.
Back to my breakdown. I remember laying in bed in a fetal position, eyes swollen, with hubby next to me with his arm around me. As I sobbed, he listened (“Why didn’t we just elope and ask my parents for forgiveness?” “Why is this so hard?!?”) and then he began to try to give me some more ideas. At first I was annoyed. As if he would be able to come up with a great idea for a wedding. Psh.
He named a few places that I immediately scoffed at, and then he said New York City. My reaction was very sarcastic and caustic: “Oh yea, because things are SO affordable in NYC!!!: ~sob, sob, sob~ He knew I love NYC and how much that city means to me, so I almost resented him for saying it because of COURSE I would love to get married there!! Things are just so damn expensive there! Emotions were fleeting, so I entered anger, rolled my eyes, grabbed a tissue, and continued my pity party. What a tease, I thought…NYC…yeah, right.
I can’t remember how the conversation went after that, but I woke up the next morning – on a weekday morning before work – and began Googling “elope in New York City.” Yep, I looked up elopements. You see, I had read a great book that night that had sparked my breakdown causing me to wish we had eloped immediately after his proposal in Vegas. The book is called “Let’s Elope” and it’s a fantastic read even if you have zero desire to elope.
During my Google search, the first link to come up was a link to an officiant and photographer package from Offbeat Bride. Fantastic price! And the photographer seemed talented! Finally, things seemed a little brighter. But I knew better than to get my hopes up.
Then, because I wanted an outdoor venue, I naturally started looking up what it required to get married in Central Park. And that’s when things became crystal clear. It’s typical of me to have a hard time making a decision concerning my own life (I’m good helping others decide), but when make up my mind that’s it. And that’s exactly what I did that morning. I made up my mind to get married in Central Park, NYC.
I went to work that morning and told my closest colleague that I had made up my mind. And do you know what? For the first time in a year, I was totally excited about getting married. I was so excited that I didn’t even care the least bit whether people would attend our wedding. I absolutely love my huge, Cajun family, but it wasn’t about them…and they understood that. I was so ok with it that I even wanted the invites to say “We will be in Central Park on (this date) at (this time) getting married. If you can join us, GREAT! If not, it’s cool.” But, my mom objected..and the invites are a whole different story. 🙂
Up until that day, I was only just luke warm to my favorite location of the ones my mom and I explored. But, just as I did when I met my husband, I knew it when it was exactly what I wanted. I just knew.
I called my mom and told her in a very matter-of-fact way that this was what we were going to do. Then, I told her we would buy their plane tickets and we would meet them there. That’s how sure I was. Her head was spinning because the last conversation we had was just before my breakdown and I was kinda pissed off at the blood-suckers that make up the wedding industry. So, here I was calling her with a bright, new mentality and I completely had my mind made up after waffling for a year. She was shocked and, like a mom, wanted me to think things through with her. “Where will you get flowers?” she said. “I don’t know, maybe Chelsea Market the day of the wedding?” I said. She didn’t like that plan, but I assured her NYC was exactly what I wanted to do. I had made up my mind.
No, we didn’t have family there. And, no, neither of us grew up there. I still wonder why those things are criteria for selecting a wedding venue..? Well, I still wonder about a lot of things about weddings in general, but I digress.